With concerns over Brexit rising, throughout the past three years one-sixth of all people living in Northern Ireland have applied for an Irish passport.
The number of Irish passport applications from Northern Ireland has surged dramatically since the Brexit vote three years ago.
According to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), 290,346 passports have been issued to Irish residents living in Northern Ireland since the Brexit vote on June 23, 2016.
With the population of Northern Ireland hovering around 1.8 million, that's nearly one-sixth of the populous and 100,000 applications per year.
By comparison, in 2012, the DFA received 41,124 passport applications from Northern Ireland.
According to information obtained by the Irish Mirror "inquiries to the department [DFA] revealed that the numbers for the past three years are double the number of applications for the years before the Brexit vote."
Per the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, anyone born in Northern Ireland retains the right to identify as Irish, British, or both, and can, therefore, hold passports from both countries.
With the UK's looming exit from the European Union, many view Irish passports as a way to maintain legal ties to the EU.
The surge in applications has been so dramatic that in January, post offices in Northern Ireland reported a shortage of passport applications.
This is not a surprise.— Niall Ó Donnghaile ⭕️ (@NiallSF) January 29, 2019
Many of us have been flagging this stuff 4 several years now. Clearly identifiable & growing demand should be met with investment. People pay for new/renewal passports - it’s time we had a service to meet our needs. #6CoPassports @sinnfeinireland @dfatirl https://t.co/xLa3RDKlbI
The Henley Index, which ranks the strength of each country’s passports, published their report for the third quarter of 2019 on July 2 and ranked the Irish passport as the sixth most powerful in the world.